In 2013, we found soybean aphids in many fields in northern Ohio. Although the aphids arrived later than usual—anywhere from R4-R6 stage—populations did reach economic threshold in later planted beans.

What should we expect in 2014? Soybean aphid populations in Ohio should be relatively low for a couple of reasons. One, for the past 14 years, aphid populations have peaked every other year such that we have had high populations in odd numbered years (this pattern may not hold for all of the Midwest, but it has stuck for Ohio).

Two, very minimal soybean aphids were found on buckthorn (the aphid’s overwintering host) based on a multi-state survey by Dr. Dave Voegtlin (retired entomologist from the Illinois Natural History Survey) and Dr. Dave Hogg (University of Wisconsin entomologist). Their observations agreed with the lack of aphids found during our own surveys of buckthorn across OH, funded by the Ohio Soybean Council. Of course, a lot can happen between now and late July-early August when soybean aphids would appear, and we will keep you updated if aphids do arrive.